Downshifting In a Downturn

Posted by Mark on 5th Nov 2008
The press is now full of articles extolling the virtues of the simple life and how "The Credit Crunch Brings Career Changes":

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article5062778.ece

Even a bad assed hedgie, like Andrew Lahde, wants to turn his back on the lucrative career that "destroyed his health" to grow hemp (his resignation letter is well worth a read):

http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2008/10/17/17194/andrew-lahde-bows-out-in-style/

Given the non-stop barrel of laughs that is the world of commercial property and finance, I quite fancy jacking it all in to be the man that oils the thighs of the virgins that roll Cohiba cigars, but I doubt it would cover the school fees.

Like many things in this crazy, mixed up world, I feel that the concept of downshifting is yet another example of woolly ideas and a lack of joined up thinking.

My local organic deli (North St SW4, very good) is already full of posters and flyers for individual yoga tuition, children's pottery classes, aryudevic massage, toddler acting classes and Chinese stool therapy (OK I made that one up).   It would now appear likely that it will be impossible to get in the front door for further adverts extolling the virtues of "lifestyle" businesses set up by former bankers.

Call me a cynic, but these self indulgent pursuits were just as symptomatic of the credit boom as second homes, flash cars and Christmas in the Caribbean; moreover rely just as heavily on there being a large amount of highly paid idiots with too much money to spend.

Alas those times gone and in The Great Deleveraging (new expression for the post Credit Crunch world) people are going to be focused a little further down Maslows "Hierarchy of Needs" and will be more worried about the basics such as food and shelter.

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